Have you ever stood silently in a crowd and felt like the last of your kind? The last member of a special breed on the brink of extinction? Well folks, I often get that feeling. I believe I have mentioned once or twice previously that I’ve never really been a social butterfly, nor have I been known to frequent communal activities (weddings, Eid celebrations, or sisters-only events….nope I’d rather stay home, stuff my face with food, and binge watch Netflix). The truth is I’ve always felt a little odd and awkward since I usually don’t fit into any of the usual prototypes of what a Muslim women should be like.

As a teenager, I was a bit of chameleon. I use to compartmentalize the many aspects of my life into neatly organized folders (stored deep into the abyss of my psyche). My closest friends being bookworms, it was all about books for us. Exchanging them, discussing them, and even on occasions re-enacting some poignant scenes (don’t you dare judge us Cyrano de Bergerac is a masterpiece) was an integral part of our teenage experience. As an avid science fiction fan though I often felt alone. None of my friends were particularly interested in sci-fi or watched any of the series I followed so obsessively. I couldn’t find anyone within the Muslim community that seemed to share my particular fondness for science fiction. I got used to being the lone Muslim going to conventions, Renaissance Fairs, partaking in cosplaying, and LARPing.

With age though, one feels an increasing need to create a community of like minded individuals; a need to find a way of sharing oneself with others. Luckily I’ve been able to meet a few Muslimahs who share my fondness for books, science fiction, and other geeky leisures (Give us your indecipherable datas, your convoluted and confusing theories, your hidden subtexts, seriously we live for that stuff). What is undeniable however is that we all feel very much like an oddity amongst our fellow Muslims. There are no shortages of online platforms catering to Muslims interested in fashion, parenting advices, politics (from the most interesting conversations to the most dubious), or matrimonial services …..but very little else. With the sheer amount of engineers, science majors, and PhD holders we have in the Muslim community, you would think platforms discussing everything from academia to science and technology would be front and centre in the Muslim blogosphere. And yet, the silence on that front is deafening. We own very little platforms or institutions dedicated to fostering innovative scientific and technological ideas, and even less dedicated to the arts and literature.

So where in the world are all the Muslim geeks/nerds?

Surely we can’t be the only contingent who proudly assume their geekiness and actually revel in it? Are we all living happily in our own little silos? If so, I say it is time to come out into the open folks. We come from a long tradition of thinkers, scientists, inventors, and scholars who have enlightened humanity by responding to its most pressing needs. The current narrative ladened with Islamophobia tends to reduce Muslims to nothing more than the caricature of a religious fanatic. It is a narrative that either seeks to erase our complexity and diversity, or simply strip us of our humanity. There is an increasing pressure on Muslims (young Muslims especially) to modernize and reform Islam by making it more compatible with the precept of Western Liberalism. They are often being told that there is something inherently wrong with their Muslim identity and that it needs sprucing up to make it more appealing.

This is where Muslims more than ever need to be uncompromisingly and unapologetically Muslim. We neither need to modernize nor reform Islam. We neither need to dilute our identity, nor silence our voices out of fear. This is when we need to show the world that Islam far from being a hinderance to our fulfillment is in fact the very source of our potential and possibilities. Muslims must take their destiny into their own hands by shaping their own future. It is time to be brazenly innovative, creative, and dare to dream the future into reality; and who better to do that than Muslim geeks/nerds.

So come out, come out, wherever you are brothers and sisters your vision and your talents are sorely needed.

**If you are aware of any Muslim blogs/websites with a particular penchant toward science, technology, science fiction, literature etc… feel free to share them in the comment section. Jazak’Allah Khair.  

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21 thoughts on “Where Are All My Muslim Geeks At?

  1. As salamu alaikum! Yes ! I am here for this whole post! The inferiority complex i have from being black and not wanting to be a conventional stereotype or a textbook muslim. Ee need to diversify ourselves jn every aspect of the word. Reach out to all subjects. The people that need to be muslim aren’t always going to be doctors or in colleges, but at those LARPing events at book clubs. Islam didnt start off reaching out to the rich and well educated, it diversified. They had their secret meetings discussing what they beleived Quran meant. They did things within their own groups and welcomed those who were outside. We spread by the mouth and by diversity. I see you fellow nerds!

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  2. Absolutely love your post ! I agree with you , we need to be more in science and technology, medical sciences than just being doing beauty blogging and fashion , Its not we are not there in those technical fields but I think we are not enough in there specially Women. Unfortunately I donot know any such blogger interested in SciFi things, I wish you good luck ,hope you will find out soon! Btw I love reading books as well, There are a lot of Muslim Bloggers who are authors,poets and some Muslim Feminists, I enjoy reading their post too. let me know if you would like links to their blogs.

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    1. I agree with everything you said Sana. We definitely need to expand the diversity of our presence on the blogosphere. I would absolutely love to read the blogs you’ve mentioned. Feel free to share their links. Thank you in advance.

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  3. Muslim nerd(wannabe) at your service! Unfortunately, I am no Sci Fi geek. But I’ve often felt like the oddball out in most of my circles and its extended to the blogosphere. My rant on listicles touched on that briefly. But I totally get it, gurl! I don’t care about fashion, makeup, mommy or cooking tips.. and that’s what all the content seems to cater to, unfortunately. I’ll join you with whatever you start!

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    1. Rafia, as a LOTR geek you are technically science fiction adjacent Looool. I just can’t anymore with just how homogeneous the Muslim blogosphere is. At first I thought maybe all the oddballs are online doing their thing (which is one of the main reasons I started blogging)…..but nope, apparently not.
      But, at least I’ve met amazing folks like you (who are my kind of people lool) along the way.

      Yay for small victories ❤

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      1. Aww, yay! I feel the same way. I suppose I’m being an elitist, thinking blogging should be the domain of people like me. But now it’s public domain and well, I have to live with it. As it is in “real” life, we’re oddballs, but it’s okay. We have each other and really, I feel like I’d lose a bit of myself if I became popular. I like being connected to that loner girl. It keeps me humble, if you know what I mean. Although, perhaps I’m just rationalising why I am the way I am. Lol!

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      2. I totally get what you mean. People like us very rarely become popular or go viral, but I’m ok with that. It gives us the freedom to be authentically ourselves instead of having to format our voices to some expected standard.

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  4. I’m not sure if you’d be interested, but my blog is technically about historical linguistics, but I do comment on Islamic theology a lot from a standard religious studies point of view. Not sure if I’m a “geek” or not but lol

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    1. Yes, you are definitely a geek my friend loool. I do have a fondness for history, but I must say that your particular penchant for historical linguistics is absolutely fascinating. Don’t be surprised if you see me stalking your page from now on looool. Looking forward to reading your posts on Islamic theology as well. Thanks for commenting.

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      1. lol I’m a Muslim Geek and I’m proud. But yes go ahead and read whatever you want! It’s rare anyone finds what I love interesting so yes, absorb it. It’s not always “Orthodox” historical linguistics (I challenge mainstream theory a lot), but it is informative to some degree; I hope.

        By the way I love you blog!

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      2. Thank you so much for all your support. Much appreciated. I enjoy reading stuff that challenge mainstream theories and propose a different perspective instead. So your posts are exactly what I gravitate toward usually. Looking forwarding to reading more of your posts.

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  5. I was wondering about that no later than yesterday! Searching the web for new writing/literature/poetry blogs by Muslim women, I couldn’t find any. But instead, how many websites on fashion, moral advice, or marriage! Don’t we, as Muslims, have a voice – voices – to rise beyond the caricature?! Don’t we have feelings, emotions, fears, hopes to express? Don’t we need to simply share beauty, like other human beings? There is room for a whole new Islamic culture!
    By the way, I’m fond of science fiction too 🙂

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    1. YES Marie, I couldn’t agree more with your comment. The Muslim blogosphere is certainly not a reflection of the awesome diversity and creativity you find amongst Muslims. I don’t quite understand why that is, but I think it is starting to become an issue. We are creating a weird echo chamber where the same old discussions are being rehashed ad nauseam. I’m absolutely in awe of how creative and artistic some folks are, but without any way to showcase their talents, I’m afraid we never really get to see just how amazing they are. We need to uplift our people and celebrate their talents. Thanks for taking the time to comment Marie.

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  6. Asalaam Alaikum sister. Absolutely loved your post. I cant say I am a total muslim geek but Im half way there. I absolutely love science fiction movies and programmes and normally have to watch them alone as my husband doesnt get them. When it comes to games give me a good old RPG anyday. But thats about where all my nerdiness ends. Yes i am a bookworm but I read everything and anything. So sister what I am saying is we are there in our different levels of nerdiness lol

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    1. Wa aleikum salam sister. So happy to meet a fellow science fiction aficionado. I absolutely understand your predicament, most people I know (except a few sisters) either hate or are indifferent toward science fiction. My mother calls every sci-fi show Star Trek looool. What shows/movies are you fond of? I’m not much of a gamer anymore, but in my teenage years I was obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons. I never really got into online gaming but I still enjoy tabletop games from time to time. What games are you into? I think we all have some things we are super nerdy about and some other things not so much. Our geekiness comes in many shapes and forms I’m afraid loool. So good to meet you sister and Jazak’Allah khair for taking the time to comment.

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